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Revista chilena de infectología

versión impresa ISSN 0716-1018


SAN-MARTIN, Álvaro et al. Hansen disease, an emergent condition in Chile. Rev. chil. infectol. [online]. 2018, vol.35, n.6, pp.722-728. ISSN 0716-1018.

Hansen's disease (HD) is caused by Mycobacterium leprae. It has a chronic course and preferentially affects the skin and the peripheral nerves. It's an emergent infection in Chile due to migration waves. This case report affecting a migrant worker from Haiti that presented several compatible skin lesions, with hypoesthesia and unilateral madarosis that appeared before arrival. The diagnosis of a multibacillary form was established by clinical findings, presence of fast acid bacilli on a direct skin smear, and inflammatory cell surrounding nerve endings and granulomas on skin biopsy. Besides, specific rpoB and hsp65 gene segments from M. leprae were amplified from skin samples. Patient was treated with the WHO standard combined regimen for multibacillary forms during one year showing partial regression of skin lesions. Nasopharyngeal samples showed the presence of M. leprae rpoB copies detected by PCR decreasing until six months of therapy. Notifiable diseases databases showed a recent increment of cases, all related to migrant population. Hansen's disease is a new condition in Chile and clinicians should be aware of this possibility. Molecular tools may facilitate diagnosis and follow up.

Palabras clave : Multibacillary leprosy; Mycobacterium leprae; histology; polymerase chain reaction; drug therapy.

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